Whitecaps LUYSA Appreciation Night

Jul. 10, 2011

(click here for a Hi-res panoramic photo)

Memories are made of this....

Langley United at the Whitecaps game July 6, 2011

Where do memories come from?a.

Report from James Stumph, LUYSA Whitecaps Coordinator

(It was the best day of my life,÷a

(It was awesome, all those people watching me.÷ 

These are two of the many comments made by the kids who participated in the pre-game activities at the Whitecaps game on Wednesday night.

Our day started 4:30pm when we all gathered outside the stadium to await our call for show time. At 5:30 our player escorts (U7-U9¦s) and Flag Bearers (U13-U15) made their way for rehearsal. At 5:45 our High-five Line kids (U10-U12) left the parents for their interaction with the Whitecaps players.

At 6:30 the player escorts, all dressed up in matching kits came back to the parents for a photo shoot on the "grassy knoll" behind Bell Pitch in front of all the arriving fans. The kids were rolled a few brand new Whitecaps soccer balls and a net and got to show their stuff for all to see. Spike, the Whitecaps mascot, goofed around with the kids and offered the kids some of his signed photos.

Shortly afterwards, 6:45 the kids made their way to the bowels of Empire Field to begin their highlight of the night. The parents made their way to their seats in anticipation of catching a glimpse of their child walking out on the field. The music starts and here come the kids. Flag bearers carry two giant flags, one American, one Canadian. Player escorts guiding the Whitecaps and Columbus players onto the field. Smiles from ear to ear. The excitement lasted under ten minutes but those ten minutes will last a lifetime.

The parents gathered at the (muster station÷ to pick up our kids. The kids didn¦t walk to their parents, they ran with smiles from ear to ear. They couldn¦t wait to share their experiences. We went to our seats to watch the game. The game had its highs and lows with an unfortunate 90th minute goal for the visitors to dampen the mood just a tad. At the end of the game, three of our youth were able to join the Whitecaps on the field for an autograph signing. It was pretty cool seeing one of the shirts with 8-10 autographs on it. Priceless.

In the end over 300 LUYSA members including 60 children participating in the pre-game events was an opportunity of a lifetime.

You never know, in 12 years we may have one of our participants wearing a Whitecaps jersey holding the hand of a child doing the same thing.

James Stumph
Whitecaps Program Coordinator

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